Meditation Classes at Ganden Center in Columbia, SC

Scroll down to see the classes currently being offered at Ganden Center.  All classes are open to the general public and are offered on a drop-in basis; you do not need to attend each week in order to participate.

All of the classes on this page are held at Ganden Center, 2999 Sunset Blvd., W. Columbia, SC  29169.

Sunday Mornings

Sundays, 10:30am – 11:45am
with Mark Gould at Ganden Center
Free; donations are welcome

Cool and Confident:  Finding Authentic Confidencesunset girl

Self-confidence is not a quality that we either have or we don’t have. In fact, it is a state of mind that can be cultivated.  In this series we will learn how to experience the pure and limitless nature of our mind. Through this joyful experience we naturally let go of our inhibiting insecurities and instead identify with our potential. We will explore how to integrate this self-confidence into our life and in particular how to use it to bring about the deeper changes that we long for. Everyone is welcome.

Class Format

Every class will begin with a brief introduction, followed by a guided breathing meditation and the Liberating Prayer. After meditation, there will be a short teaching and time for Q&A. Class will end with Prayers for World Peace.

Class Schedule

July 20:  How our wisdom builds our confidence, part 1
July 27:  How our wisdom builds our confidence, part 2
August 3:  The pitfalls of pride
August 10:  What are you looking at?
August 17:  No class (Tranquil Abiding Retreat)
August 24:  No class (Empowerment Weekend)

Upcoming Series

Sundays, 10:30am – 11:45am
with Gen Nyema at Ganden Center
Free; donations are welcome

The Wisdom of Letting Go:

Meditations for letting go of negative states of mindWisdom of Letting Go

It is common for people to give us the advice that we “just need to let go,” but it is uncommon for anyone to tell us HOW to let go.  The good news is that letting go of negative and agitated states of mind can definitely be accomplished once we learn how.  In this class series, we’ll take a closer look at meditations and practical teachings that help us to let go of whatever is troubling us.

Class Format

Every class will begin with a brief introduction, followed by a guided breathing meditation and the Liberating Prayer. After meditation, there will be a short teaching and time for Q&A. Class will end with Prayers for World Peace.

Class Schedule

August 31:  Why holding on doesn’t help
September 7:  Letting go of anger
September 14:  Letting go of anxiety
September 21:  Letting go of attachments and addictions
September 28:  Letting go of physical pain
October 5:  Letting go of grief
October 12:  Letting go of low self-esteem
October 19:  No class (Fall Festival)
October 26:  Being patient with the process

Class Teacher

Kelsang Nyema

Gen Kelsang Nyema has been the Resident Teacher of Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Center since 2008.

Read more about Gen Nyema and our other teachers here.

Wednesday Evenings

Wednesdays, 7pm – 8:15pm
with Gen Kelsang Nyema at Ganden Center
$10 or $5 students/seniors (free for Monthly Members)
* Class fee includes a light vegetarian dinner after class

Now is the Time for Change

In the book Transform Your Life, modern-day Buddhist master, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, states that the spiritual path is Time for Change - FINALreally very simple:  Mainly, we need to learn to cherish others.  Why is deepening love and compassion for others such an important task?  How does it enable us to change our whole life?

During this class series, we’ll examine the intersection between our spiritual life our and our relationships with others.  We’ll discover the basic spiritual truth that learning to enhance love is the key element for a happy, healthy, and meaningful way of life.

Class Format

Every class will begin with a brief introduction, followed by a guided breathing meditation and the Liberating Prayer. After meditation, there will be a short teaching and time for Q&A.

Class Schedule

July 23:  No Class (UK Summer Festival)
July 30:  No Class (UK Summer Festival)
August 6:  No Class (UK Summer Festival)
August 13:  A new paradigm:  Recognizing “mother” sentient beings
August 20:  Living in a world of kindness
August 27:  What’s the difference between the hand and the foot?
September 3:  A self-centered world or an other-centered world
September 10:  A new kind of life

Upcoming Series

Wednesdays, 7pm – 8:15pm
with Gen Kelsang Nyema at Ganden Center
$10 or $5 students/seniors (free for Monthly Members)
* Class fee includes a light vegetarian dinner after class

Shine Your Light: Meditations for Controlling Our MindShine Your Light_FINAL

Compassion is the very essence of a spiritual life.  By growing the inner light of our compassion, we’ll gain self-control, improve our concentration, clear our mind, and develop wisdom.  In this class series, we’ll explore the inner light of our compassion and learn how compassion provides fertile ground for cultivating the fruits of spiritual life.

Class Format

Every class will begin with a brief introduction, followed by a guided breathing meditation and the Liberating Prayer. After meditation, there will be a short teaching and time for Q&A.

Class Schedule

September 17:  Illuminating your life with compassion
September 24:  Taking and giving meditation
October 1:  The light of enlightenment
October 8:  The light of concentration, part 1
October 15:  No class (Fall Festival)
October 22:  No class (Fall Festival)
October 29:  The light of concentration, part 2

Class Teacher

Kelsang Nyema

Gen Kelsang Nyema has been the Resident Teacher of Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Center since 2008.

Read more about Gen Nyema and our other teachers here.

Tuesday Intro Classes

Tuesdays, 7pm – 8pm
 at Ganden Center
$5 or FREE for students/seniors (free for Monthly Members)
Simply Meditate front

Have you always wanted to try meditation but never had anyone to learn from?

”Simply Meditate” is a three-week introductory series specifically designed for the complete beginner.  In addition to teaching basic meditation skills, participants will also learn how to bring the skills of meditation into daily life for a greater peace, harmony, and happiness.  Everyone is welcome; drop in for any class.

Class Format

Every class will begin with a brief introduction, followed by a guided breathing meditation. After meditation, there will be a short teaching and time for Q&A.

Class Schedule

September 2:  What is meditation?
September 9:  Meditation and inner peace
September 16:  Meditation on the go

Class Teacher

“Simply Meditate” is taught by Paula Lozano, a member of our Foundation Program.  To read more about our teachers, visit our “Teachers” page.

Lunchtime Classes

Tuesdays:  Just Breathemeditating girl

12:30pm – 12:55pm with Larry Linke
$8 or $5 students/seniors

No Summer Classes: 
  • Last Spring Class — June 17
  • First Fall Class — August 26

On Tuesday afternoons, enjoy a simple guided breathing meditation to help you relax and refresh for the rest of your day.

Thursdays:  Teaching & Guided Meditation

12:30pm – 1:15pm with Gen Nyema
$10 or $5 students/seniors

No Summer Classes: 
  • Last Spring Class — June 19
  • First Fall Class — August 28

Thursday afternoon classes include teachings and discussions on various practical topics that relate to our work life and family life.  Each session ends with a short meditation.

Class Teachers

LarryTuesdays:  Larry Linke

Larry is a long-time member of Ganden Center and a student of the Foundation Program.  He is a retired businessman with two children and two grandchildren.

Kelsang Nyema

Thursdays:  Gen Nyema

Gen Kelsang Nyema has been the Resident Teacher of Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Center since 2008.

Read more about Gen Nyema and our other teachers here.

Friday Evenings

Select Fridays, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
with Gen Kelsang Nyema at Ganden Center
$10 or $5 students/seniors (free for Monthly Members)

Understanding Modern Buddhism:mb cover
A Book Study Class

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s book, Modern Buddhism, presents the ancient teachings of Kadampa Buddhism in a way that is easy to understand and easy to apply for modern people.  In this twice-monthly class, enjoy the opportunity to study this remarkable book in-depth.  For each class, Gen Nyema will be reading from the book and giving commentary.  Classes will also include guided meditations based upon the book and discussions.

After class, please feel free to join us for dinner out.  Everyone welcome.

Visit emodernbuddhism.com for a FREE download of Modern Buddhism.

Fall 2014 Dates:

September 26
October 31
November 14
December 19

Spring 2015 Dates:

*No January dates
February 6
March 13
April 3
May 22
June 19

Class Teacher

Kelsang Nyema

Gen Kelsang Nyema has been the Resident Teacher of Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Center since 2008.

Read more about Gen Nyema and our other teachers here.

Class Updates

Find out about upcoming classes in your area.


We’re Family Friendly

On Sunday mornings, Ganden Center is fun for the whole family.  Upstairs, adults enjoy our Sunday morning meditation class and Prayers for World Peace.  Downstairs, kids and tweens/teens have their own classes.  Kids classes include hands-on arts & crafts, light-hearted Buddhist stories, and advice for a happy life.  Classes for tweens/teens are more discussion-oriented and give young people a chance to explore their own spiritual life.